By Ash Goedker
Brother the loose change
I save in pickle jars.
Brother as crawling the stairs
Brother running too fast
for the wheels on the bus
go round and round.
Brother I call Ernie
long head, fat lips, big fish
bowl of a laugh.
begs to play
in the graveyard.
to his knees
sometimes in gutters.
of sisters and brothers
and a dismantled city
I don’t know
how to save brother.
of forest gulped
asleep and faking
death like a rabbit
I’m about to skin
to save you
yes, I have scrubbed
a skull with a toothbrush
Brother, and I was wrong
about the melody it makes –
in the final key
Guidance Counselor Notes
The fifth graders are dissecting hearts next
door; they’ve begun to steady, forget
their corn, mothers, their belief in brass.
This week kids fall like softened
blackberries and stare like stains, fixed
even after rain. What they’ve grazed shattered:
Valves are not built like rafters.
More like spider webs, a quiet,
steady roar. They are pumping the Mississippi,
this time with formaldehyde. I heard
a girl burst, say the heart
is a pitted cherry – is tailored, and still
every thing is magic. Their fingers
grow, for some full pulse and branch.
Ash is from the Upper Midwest and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Idaho where she is also the Poetry Editor at Fugue. Her poems have been published in Velvet Tail, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Innistree Poetry Journal and has poems forthcoming in Merrimack Review. Ash has a number of obsessions besides poems, and they can be whittled down to a very simple list: lakes and cheese.
Art: “Fourth Wall” by Featured Artist Roger Leege
Roger Leege started out as a painter, printmaker and analog photographer, earning BA and MA degrees in Visual Arts from Goddard College. During post-grad university study in computer science, he was an early adopter and evangelist for digital art and artists’ tools. With gallery, print, and online publishing credits in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, he especially enjoys working with writers and the “literate” press. His portfolios are located at rogerleege.net.